Newry rival buys Mivan assets and announces 40 jobs
Fitting-out business Mivan has been rescued by a local rival which has vowed to navigate the troubled firm back to smoother waters.
Just four days ago it looked like the Antrim company – which had worked on providing the finishing touches for palaces, cruise ships and luxury apartments around the world – had run out of rope, as the 39-year-old firm stopped trading after being put into administration.
Newry firm MJM Group yesterday announced it had stepped in to buy the company's assets, name and factory from administrators Deloitte.
MJM chairman Brian McConville said the purchase had led to the creation of the "biggest specialist joinery firm" in Europe.
He said he would trade Mivan as a separate entity and would begin recruitment of up to 40 new staff next week – and that recruits could be working on an international cruise ship contract by the middle of April.
"There has been a dull feeling around Mivan for months because of what might happen so we have novated (putting a new contract in place of an old one) a contract from MJM to Mivan to get people excited about the future again.
"That will be a multi-million pound deal for Mivan that will mean the new staff going to work in Singapore or the Bahamas in the middle of April or early May to work on a cruise ship in drydock.
"By then I will also have a sales team who will be able to go out and go after other contracts."
Mr McConville said he eventually hoped to increase the size of the workforce in Mivan to 200.
All but a small number of the 289 workforce have been made redundant over the past two weeks.
Mr McConville said those made redundant could apply for the new posts.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said MJM's purchase of Mivan was "good news" for construction and for the Antrim areas.
"Mivan had an excellent reputation and was renowned for its export success," she said.
MJM started out 30 years ago as a family joinery firm, but has since become a specialist in fit-out in the marine sector.
Orla Jackson, chief executive of Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade, said: "Since it was founded by Newry man Brian McConville, MJM has grown from strength to strength on an international scale providing employment for its large and highly skilled workforce."
Like its new acquisition Mivan, MJM has an enviable record in fit-out of luxury ships, hotels and retail developments.
Cruise ship clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, The World ResidenSea, P&O Cruises and Star Cruises.
Retail projects include Harrods and Victoria Square in Belfast.